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Title: De lepore calliditatem et vulpe celeritatem a Iove petentibus: About the rabbit who asked Jupiter to make him sly and the fox who asked to be swift, by Abstemius


Latin Text:



Lepus et Vulpes a Iove petebant: haec ut calliditati suae pedum celeritatem ille ut velocitati suae calliditatem adiungeret. Quibus Iupiter ita respondit ab origine mundi e sinu nostro liberalissime singulis animantibus sua munera sumus elargiti: uni autem omnia dedisse aliorum fuisset iniuria. Haec innuit fabula Deum singulis sua munera ita esse aequali lance largitum, ut quisque esse debeat sua sorte contentus.


Here is a segmented version to help you see the grammatical patterns:



Lepus et Vulpes

a Iove petebant:
haec
ut calliditati suae pedum celeritatem;
ille
ut velocitati suae calliditatem
adiungeret.
Quibus Iupiter ita respondit
ab origine mundi
e sinu nostro
liberalissime singulis animantibus
sua munera sumus elargiti:
uni autem omnia dedisse
aliorum fuisset iniuria.
Haec innuit fabula
Deum
singulis sua munera
ita esse aequali lance largitum,
ut quisque esse debeat
sua sorte contentus.



Translation:



The rabbit and the fox made their petitions to Jupiter: the fox asked that swiftness of foot be added to her slyness, and the rabbit asked that slyness be added to his swiftness. Jupiter responded to them as follows: "From the beginning of the world, from my breast I have poured forth gifts to each and every animal very generously; if I were to give one animal all the fits, that would be an injury to the others. This fable shows that God employed an equal measure when he dispensed his gifts to every individual, so that each person ought to be content with his own lot.



[This translation is meant as a help in understanding the story, not as a "crib" for the Latin. I have not hesitated to change the syntax to make it flow more smoothly in English, altering the verb tense consistently to narrative past tense, etc.]



Source: Abstemius 87 (You can see a 1499 edition of Abstemius online, but I am doing my transcription from the 1568 edition of Aesopi fabulae in the EEBO catalog.)



Another English translation. Normally I provide L'Estrange's version of the fable, but L'Estrange did not include this fable, perhaps because of its close similarity to the traditional Aesop's fable of the queen of heaven, Juno, and her dialogue with the peacock.


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